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					Titles and dutie
Bronze prutah minted by Pontius Pilate.
Reverse: Greek letters TIBEPIOY KAICAPOC (TiberiusEmperor) and date LIS (year 16 = AD 29/30)
surroundingsimpulum (libation ladle).
Obverse: Greek letters IOYLIA KAICAPOC (Julia, the Emperor's (mother)), three bound heads of barley, the outer two
heads drooping.

Pontius Pilate's title was traditionally thought to have been procurator, since Tacitus speaks of him as
such. However, an inscription on a limestone block known as the Pilate Stone — a dedication to Tiberius
Caesar Augustus — that was discovered in 1961 in the ruins of an amphitheater at Caesarea
Maritima refers to Pilate as "Prefect of Judaea".

The title used by the governors of the region varied over the period of the New Testament.
When Samaria, Judea proper and Idumea were first amalgamated into the Roman Judaea
Province (which some modern historians spell Iudaea), from AD 6 to the outbreak of the First Jewish
Revolt in 66, officials of the Equestrian order (the lower rank of governors) governed. They held the
Roman title of prefect until Herod Agrippa I was named King of the Jews by Claudius. After Herod
Agrippa's death in 44, when Iudaea reverted to direct Roman rule, the governor held the title procurator.
When applied to governors, this term procurator, otherwise used for financial officers, connotes no
difference in rank or function from the title known as prefect. Contemporary archaeological finds and
documents such as the Pilate Inscription from Caesarea attest to the governor's more accurate official
title only for the years 6 through 44: prefect. The logical conclusion is that texts that identify Pilate as
procurator are more likely following Tacitus or are unaware of the pre-44 practice.

The procurators' and prefects' primary functions were military, but as representatives of the empire they
were responsible for the collection of imperial taxes, and also had limited judicial functions. Other civil
administration lay in the hands of local government: the municipal councils or ethnic governments such as
– in the district of Judaea and Jerusalem – the Sanhedrin and its president the High Priest. But the power
of appointment of the High Priest resided in the Roman legate of Syria or the prefect of Judaea in Pilate's
day and until 41 AD. For example, Caiaphas was appointed High Priest of Herod's Temple by
Prefect Valerius Gratus and deposed by Syrian Legate Lucius Vitellius. After that time and until 66 AD,
the Jewish client kings exercised this privilege. Normally, Pilate resided in Caesarea but traveled
throughout the province, especially to Jerusalem, in the course of performing his duties. During
the Passover, a festival of deep national as well as religious significance for the Jews, Pilate, as governor
or prefect, would have been expected to be in Jerusalem to keep order. He would not ordinarily be visible
to the throngs of worshippers because of the Jewish people's deep sensitivity to their status as a Roman

Equestrians such as Pilate could command legionary forces but only small ones, and so in military
situations, he would have to yield to his superior, the legate of Syria, who would descend into Palestine
with his legions as necessary. As governor of Iudaea, Pilate would have small auxiliary forces of locally
recruited soldiers stationed regularly in Caesarea and Jerusalem, such as theAntonia Fortress, and
temporarily anywhere else that might require a military presence. The total number of soldiers at his
disposal numbered in the range of 3000

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